From the City Manager's Desk

April 16, 2018

Work in Water Day 

On April 11th, theUtilities Department hosted the Work In Water Experience. Nineteen local students participated and learned all about how Topeka gets its water, how it is treated and what happens when we are done with it.
Bartlett and West engineering firm was kind enough to host the classroom portion of the day as well as provide a delicious lunch for the students. In the classroom the students did several hands on activities some of which taught them about digging wells or how to filter water.
After lunch the students were bussed to the City of Topeka Water Treatment Plant where they received a detailed tour from Water Systems General Manager Jack Mason. Here they learned how the water that they use every day is retrieved from the river and then treated.
Once they had learned where our clean water comes from it was equally important to bus them over to the City of Topeka’s Waste Water Treatment Plant in Oakland to see what happens to your water after it goes down the drain.
The students first learned how the water gets from their homes and streets to the treatment plant. Then they got a chance to see how it gets filtered and treated in order to make it safe before it gets pumped back into the river.
The students learned about water processes and also got to see a very wide variety of jobs that could be an option for them once they are done with high school. If the students are interested in getting a more in depth look at the many positions that are needed to operate a city’s water and waste water system they will have the opportunity to apply for a paid internship that will take place later this summer.

Nextdoor Truck and Partnership

The City of Topeka first launched with Nextdoor for Public Agencies in December 2013 and is using the platform to post information to residents, such as important news, services, programs, free events, and emergency notifications. Since the City partnered with Nextdoor, membership on the platform has grown by a whopping 2200%. This increased membership and engagement on Nextdoor has successfully driven higher levels of participation in City discussions, workshops, and events.
Topeka is the first city to have a Nextdoor branded truck. This property maintenance truck can be seen all over Topeka, with hopes that more neighbors will sign up and connect. 
The City of Topeka, Topeka Fire Department, Topeka Police Department, Utilities Department and Emergency Management are all on Nextdoor. 
You can sign up for Nextdoor here:
You can watch the press conference here:

Property Maintenance and Habitat for Humanity Code Enforcement Video 

Property Maintenance Manager Mike Haugen and Habitat for Humanity have partnered to bring a Facebook Live video series to Topeka citizens about code enforcement issues and how to fix them affordably. 
This month's topic was how to check your roof for problems and fix loose shingles. You can view the video here:

Budget Priorities Survey 

The Budget office is requesting input on priorities for the 2019 Budget. Take the budget priorities survey at to make your voice heard! The survey will be open for the next few months leading up to Council discussions on March 20th, April 3rd and 24th.

Mary Feighny wins award from the Topeka Bar Association

Mary Feighny won the 2018 Honorable E. Newton Vickers Professionalism Award from the Topeka Bar Association.
“This award recognized a member of the Topeka Bar Association who, by his or her conduct, honesty, integrity and courtesy, best exemplify, represent and encourage other lawyers to follow the highest standards of the legal profession, including those contained in the Topeka Bar Association Creed of Professional Courtesy.”
You can find out more information about the award here: 

Road Construction Update

6th & Fairlawn (pictured) - Crews are out at 6th & Fairlawn today placing storm water pipe.
10th & Wanamaker - The southwest corner of the intersection was removed.
21st & Wanamaker - Roadwork has been completed but traffic will remain one lane west of Westridge Mall in order to complete work on a retaining wall. All other lanes will be open at the intersection.
Projected Construction Start Dates:
  • 21st and Kansas Intersection Improvements – April 23rd.
  • 29th and Burlingame Intersection Improvements – April 30th.
You can find updates to all street projects on the Open Data Portal of the city website here:

 Recent Updates 

  • For the calendar year 2018 property maintenance has conducted 724 Initial Property Inspections, cited 1076 properties and structures and had 658 cases with voluntary compliance.
  • There have been six water main breaks repaired in April with 156 breaks repaired this year.
  • The Street Division crack sealed 6,000 lineal feet of cracks.

Severe Weather Wednesday's Facebook Video Series 

Every Wednesday in April the City of Topeka's Fire Department and Shawnee County Emergency Management will be going on Facebook live to bring you advice and tips on how to handle severe weather this spring.
This week Fire Marshal Mike Martin went to the National Weather Service to talk about weather radios.
Tune in every Wednesday for a different severe weather topic. 

KDOT Work Zone Awareness Event 

Public Works participated in the KDOT Work Zone Awareness Media Event Monday, April 9 by taking three pieces of City of Topeka equipment to the event.
The City of Topeka supports KDOT in work zone awareness and encourages citizens to follow these tips to stay safe in work zones: 
Be alert and watch for workers. 
Be prepared to stop when necessary. 
Follow all traffic control. 
Don’t take shortcuts through private property. 
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. 
Don’t tailgate. 

Flood Pump Training 

Water Pollution Control staff received training on new flood pumps that were delivered by the USACE contractor on 4/10. The new pump was taken to the well site and set up as it would be during a flood event.

Budget Public Meeting 

The public is invited to comment on the 2019 Operating Budget Process on Tuesday, April 24th at 6:00 pm at the Law Enforcement Center (320 S Kansas Ave). City leaders will be present to listen to input on the budget before it is presented to the Governing Body and the public in early June. Residents can also share input on priorities for the 2019 budget by completing a brief three question survey at

Coming up

  • The next Housing Services 2019 Consolidated Action Plan public input meetings will be coming up in April 16th at 5:30.
  • Weather Wednesday Facebook Live video on 4/18.
  • The Policy and Finance Committee will meet on April 19th from 9:30-11:00 a.m. to respond to the feedback on the proposed Tax Increment Finance (TIF) policy. View the policy and meeting details at .
  • A public open house for the Arvonia/Huntoon/I-470 Project is scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Monday, April 23, Washburn Tech, 5724 SW Huntoon, Bldg. A


Brent Trout 

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of City Manager Brent Trout.
This report was produced through our open data portal. We have several other open data portals to help connect you with the work we do, including portals that let you: